Creating cusomized RSS alerts for scientific articles


I’ll show you how to create an RSS feed to get alerts when your favorite scientist publishes new papers (this might only work for life sciences publications). 

  1. First decide which scientist you want to follow. For my example I will use Richard E. Lenski – he’s an evolutionary biologist that does really cool stuff. 
  2. Now go to PubMed – that’s an aggregator/indexer of life science and medicine publications.
  3. In the search box at the top, type, including the apostrophes: "Lenski RE"[Author] and press Search.
  4. You’ll get a list of Lenski’s publications, recent first.
  5. Now click the RSS icon at the top, just below the search box.
  6. Choose the maximum number of item in the drop down menu (100).
  7. Click Create RSS.
  8. Now right-click the XML icon, and choose Copy Address or something like that (Copy Link?). Alternatively, you can just left-click the XML icon, go to the new tab that opened, select the URL address and copy it.
  9. Now, open you’re favorite RSS reader. Mine is Google Reader.
  10. Click the Subscribe button (if it’s not Google Reader, you’d have to RTFM to find out how to subscribe to a new feed).
  11. Paste the URL you copied from PubMed.
  12. Now you can rename the feed and put it in some folder – I name it Lenski RE and place it under Paper Alert folder.
That’s it, you’ll never again miss a paper by your favorite authors. That’s a relief.

I imagine this procedure can be adapted for other scientific publications aggregators (Mendeley? Google Scholar?) but if you’ll want to do that you’ll have to RTFM.

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